Where Are Your Priorities?

The inspired writer of Hebrews spends a great deal of time in chapter ten explaining the blessings of the new covenant of Christ. “He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:9b-10 NIV). Because of the forgiveness of sins found in the blood of Christ, Christians can approach God with all boldness and confidence./1 It is in response to this new status that the Christian has certain obligations.
Christians are encouraged to “hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23). We can trust in, know, and anticipate eternal life based simply on the fact of God’s promise. “Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast” (Hebrews 3:6). This confidence does not come from our own merit or achievement; it rests in the faithfulness of God. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:8-10).
Christians are also commanded to “consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24). The Hebrew writer’s emphasis is not on what a believer gets from the church, but rather on what he contributes to the church. He emphasizes this with an appeal toward faithful attendance at all functions of the congregation. “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another” (Hebrews 10:25). When we miss an assembly of the church, we are willingly ignoring God’s commands. We are giving up meeting together. We are discouraging our brothers and sisters rather than encouraging and spurring one another on to love and good deeds. The proper attitude toward worship is found in the words of the psalmist, “I rejoiced with those who said to me, Let us go to the house of the LORD” (Psalm 122:1).
Besides the fact that faithful attendance is commanded and encouraged by God, there are also some practical reasons why we should be committed to the assemblies of the saints. One study shows that if both Mom and Dad attend church regularly, 72% of their children remain faithful in attendance. If only Dad attends regularly, 55% remain faithful. If only Mom attends regularly, 15% remain faithful. If neither attends regularly, only 6% remain faithful./2 Most parents would never do anything detrimental to the life of their children, yet many parents do take chances with their children’s spiritual lives.
It is time that God’s family takes a serious look at their commitment to Christ and his church. Ask yourself this question and answer yourself honestly, “Would the same excuses you use to justify missing church services Sunday work on your boss Monday?” We spend too much time trying to figure out whether or not Bible Class, Sunday Night Worship or Wednesday Bible Study are mandatory or optional. It all boils down to priorities!
Where are your priorities?
1 Hebrews 10:19-22
2 Home Life Magazine August 2004

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Mitchell Skelton

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